Demographics 08: Character Archetypes!

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Brovo, May 17, 2016.

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Which archetypes do you enjoy playing/writing on this list?

  1. The Innocent

  2. The Orphan

  3. The Warrior

  4. The Caregiver

  5. The Seeker

  6. The Lover

  7. The Destroyer

  8. The Creator

  9. The Ruler

  10. The Magician

  11. The Sage

  12. The Fool/Jester

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
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  1. @Staff: Keep in mind that (with Diana's permission and Astaroth overlooking it) I'm posting threads in GC first, leaving them there for a week, and then moving them to RP Help & Discussion after! This way, my demographics threads can have the widest breadth of community input without asking for unfair administration favouratism. Thanks. :ferret:

    Demographics
    Demographics threads are, essentially, an attempt to record the community's thoughts and feelings on RP-related subject matter via a series of votes. Iwaku's tastes, habits, et cetera. If you want further information on prior demographics threads, you can find the demographics hub thread here. (There are seven other Demographics Polls to check stats on & vote in so far!)

    Demo threads are not an appropriate place for hardcore multipage debates. You can ask questions about each other's positions, but keep them professional in tone. Otherwise, the spirit of the demographics threads will be lost. They're meant to sample the community and put it into an easily digestible form of numbers that anybody can look at later when creating their own RP threads or when curious about Iwaku's general demographics. If you're really interested in discussing the subject matter, create your own discussion thread. I would be delighted if demographics threads started to spawn further topics of interest by the community itself.


    Previous Community Choice Poll

    • A. Longevity: 2
    • B. Pace: 0
    • C. Romance: 3
    • D. Politics: 0
    • E. Mechanics: 0
    • F. Story Themes: 3
    • G. Character Archetypes: 4 (Winner--Most votes!)
    • H. Surprise me: 0


    Special thanks to @Red Velvet for helping me get through a mental rut with this topic.

    So I tried to do some reading on archetypes, and found exactly what I remembered. There is no universal set of character archetypes. Really. Archetypes differ wildly based on culture, nationality, era, and one's own personal expectations. Therefore, as a disclaimer, if you don't find archetypes on this poll that you use normally, that's probably because I either didn't think of it, or didn't include it because I didn't want to bloat the poll too far. For all tense and purposes, I'll use this list of archetypes. It's succinct, it's balanced, and it doesn't invoke gender or race as core motifs. Therefore, it's inoffensive, and perfect for a fun poll like this. :ferret:

    Question: Which archetypes do you enjoy playing/writing on this list?
    Clarity: With the above disclaimer in mind, which archetypes on this list do you enjoy creating and playing as the most as characters and/or NPC's? Answer clarity can be found here, if you're unfamiliar with any of the archetypes.

    Additional Questions
    • Q. What options did you vote for on the poll?
    • Q. With the archetypes that you use from this poll, do you use subvert them at all, or play them straight?
    • Q. Did you learn anything about your characters from reading this list? Do you think you understand them better or worse knowing about these archetypes?
    • Q. Are there any particular archetypes you dislike? (Note: You can list archetypes not found on this poll to answer this question!)
    • Q. (GM's): Do you use two dimensional stereotypes as NPC's to save time, or do you shy away from it and try to flesh out every NPC?
    • Q. (Players): What about these archetypes compels you to like them? How do you connect with them?

    Community Choice Poll: Vote for the topic of the next poll! (You can choose multiple options. To vote, simply post in this thread which option(s) you want.)
    • A. Longevity. (How long an RP lasts.) (Single-choice poll.)
    • B. Pace. (How fast RP's go/how fast you and the rest of the community post on average.) (Single-choice poll.)
    • C. Romance. (As a follow up to "sexuality" and "genders." Has to deal with topics of a romantic nature.) (Single or Multiple choice poll.)
    • D. Politics. (New topic expansion: Polling to see the community's general interest in how politics manifests in role playing.) (Single or Multiple choice poll.)
    • E. Mechanics. (New topic expansion: Polling to see the community's general interest in how artificial mechanics like dice rolls and stats influence role playing.) (Single choice poll.)
    • F. Story Themes. (As a follow up to "Tone" and "Character Ownership." Has to deal with what themes people find most appealing in a story.) (Multiple choice poll.)
    • G. Power Levels. (As a follow up to "Genres" and "Character Archetypes." Has to do with the average level of power player characters possess.) (Single choice poll.)
    • H. Surprise me. (None of the above.)
     
  2. Additional Questions
    • Q. What options did you vote for on the poll?
    The Warrior, Seeker, Caregiver, Lover, and Sage
    • Q. With the archetypes that you use from this poll, do you use subvert them at all, or play them straight?
    Mostly subvert them. All of my characters are kind of a mix of a few of these archetypes, with only one that seems to fit squarely into the Warrior.
    • Q. Did you learn anything about your characters from reading this list? Do you think you understand them better or worse knowing about these archetypes?
    Nothing really, I mainly read them, comparing them to characters I've made in the past and found that square pegs don't fit in round holes. I'm sure some will fit some archetypes, but not the ones listed. As I mentioned, they typically have traits that cross a the 5 categories I voted for most often.
    • Q. Are there any particular archetypes you dislike? (Note: You can list archetypes not found on this poll to answer this question!)
    I'm not going to go dig up a list, but typically, for roleplaying purposes, I'm not a fan of archetypes that actively try to avoid other characters and group dynamics because it's really tedious shit.
    • Q. (GM's): Do you use two dimensional stereotypes as NPC's to save time, or do you shy away from it and try to flesh out every NPC?
    Depends on the NPC. Some are quick throw away characters that barely have a name, if that, others are major reoccurring characters or feature heavily in an arc that I treat almost the same as player characters. The arc's villain? Totally has a personality, motivation, and other things you'd expect from a player character. The guy running a fish stand who sells a player character some tuna? Good luck remembering if he existed a week later.
    • Q. (Players): What about these archetypes compels you to like them? How do you connect with them?
    I like having characters who are focused on personal goals and are brave enough to overcome obstacles to achieve what they want, or overcome flaws. This of course varies from character to character, because sometimes it's something like finding peace with themselves and a place in the world, finding a long lost sibling who walks a dark path to bring them home, to deceive their companions to achieve their own selfish aims, so on so forth. I like action-positive characters that participate in a plot but have their own aims and actively seek to complete them instead of meekly waiting for things to happen or avoiding progress. I feel for myself it's important I can relate to my characters and be inspired by them. I might make the most awful hearted and cruel character in the world, but there's still a humanizing factor to them, and something that can even be admirable. I like my characters to feel like people, with lots of flaws but also a lot of strengths. It's something to feel that even the most virtuous paragon can have their own personal demons to overcome.

    Community Choice Poll: Vote for the topic of the next poll! (You can choose multiple options. To vote, simply post in this thread which option(s) you want.)
    • A. Longevity. (How long an RP lasts.) (Single-choice poll.)
    • C. Romance. (As a follow up to "sexuality" and "genders." Has to deal with topics of a romantic nature.) (Single or Multiple choice poll.
    • F. Story Themes. (As a follow up to "Tone" and "Character Ownership." Has to deal with what themes people find most appealing in a story.) (Multiple choice poll.)
    • G. Power Levels. (As a follow up to "Genres" and "Character Archetypes." Has to do with the average level of power player characters possess.) (Single choice poll.)
     
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  3. I almost-always play variations of The Wizard, and The Rogue/Fool Archetype.
     
    • Q. What options did you vote for on the poll?
    The Innocent, the Orphan, the Warrior, the Seeker, the Destroyer.
    • Q. With the archetypes that you use from this poll, do you usually subvert them at all, or play them straight?
    With most things, it depends. Even characters that seem like cardboard cutouts can develop in unique and interesting ways. And frankly, nothing is original anymore. We've all seen huge, grizzled warrior-men, we've all seen floppy noodle women with huge swords and no muscle and a bubbly personality. Even most subversions of common tropes are just common tropes themselves. I just make what I feel like playing, because if I'm interested and engaged, my character will be all the better for it.
    • Q. Did you learn anything about your characters from reading this list? Do you think you understand them better or worse knowing about these archetypes?
    I think these archetypes just give a name to a lot of characters I've played for years. The Seeker intrigues me: Most of my characters are dissatisfied with themselves in some way, always searching for that missing piece that can make them whole. It's interesting that you'd put that concept into an archetype all its own. Another archetype I really liked was the Destroyer. At first I thought it only applied to villains, but I think good people can destroy theirs and other peoples' lives just as effectively as anyone. Some heroes do almost nothing but wreck things, emotionally and physically. In fact, I think just about any character in a soap opera could qualify as a Destroyer.
    • Q. Are there any particular archetypes you dislike? (Note: You can list archetypes not found on this poll to answer this question!)
    I don't hate the Sage, but it can get pretty annoying when another PC tries to constantly espouse wisdom, because I really don't think that is a role that is easily filled by a fellow player. Being all wise and sagely implies an innate power imbalance, at least when it comes to personal growth. I don't play with other people just so I can RP with Yoda. (NPCs are fine, obviously.) You know what I really hate, though, is the loner. Some hard advice to those players: No one cares about your character. Rare is the game where people will care about your character beyond how their character can develop through yours. Yes, your character is like your baby, you want to send it to the playground to play with the other kids, but if your character just stands on top of the jungle gym, practicing the perfect aloof scowl, no one is going to play with your character, and you have no one to blame but yourself. RPing is about action and reaction! So do some action and keep it open! Believe me, your character will go to so many amazing, surprising places if you let it.
    • Q. (GM's): Do you use two dimensional stereotypes as NPC's to save time, or do you shy away from it and try to flesh out every NPC?
    Ehh. I like peppering in some nice flavoring, but there's no point in giving a backstory to every NPC unless it affects the plot. Some bartenders are just bartenders.
    • Q. (Players): What about these archetypes compels you to like them? How do you connect with them?
    Ohhhh, man. I don't know where to start. The Innocent indulges my love of the spotlight, just a little. When everyone else is all decked out with spells and swords and whatnot, just aching for something noble and pure to fight for, BAM, there's my character, looking presh. The Orphan is pretty much along the lines of the Innocent, just more tragic and soul-searching. If I really want some HARDCORE soul searching, I mix some Seeker in with another archetype. The Warrior is supremely flexible, and indulges my fantasies of adventure and power. But I also have a very strong sense of protectiveness, and love the idea of serving as the first line of defense. The Destroyer is the ultimate indulgence, though. I just love taking a perfectly good group of characters and shaking them up from the inside, testing the players at every turn, keeping them on their toes whenever my character comes around. Sometimes I want to inspire a little dread, y'know?

    I vote for:
    • D. Politics. (New topic expansion: Polling to see the community's general interest in how politics manifests in role playing.) (Single or Multiple choice poll.)
    • F. Story Themes. (As a follow up to "Tone" and "Character Ownership." Has to deal with what themes people find most appealing in a story.) (Multiple choice poll.)
    • G. Power Levels. (As a follow up to "Genres" and "Character Archetypes." Has to do with the average level of power player characters possess.) (Single choice poll.)
     
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  4. The innocent, the orphan, the caregiver, the seeker, the sage.
    They're really a mishmash and not one thing straight, so I guess I subvert them. Oh, aside from one character, who seems to fit the T perfectly for 'the innocent' archetype. But that wasn't on purpose from my side.
    Honestly? Not really. I mean, they may be good as a guide I suppose, but for myself, I simply make my characters as I feel without having them fill in a certain mold. Maybe I might use some inspirations, but aside from that, I think I understand my characters just fine like that. I suppose I could label the characters I have now though.
    Hmm I'm not really averse to most character archetypes. If I have to choose from the list though, I don't like the Lover type. But that may just be because of all the dumb romance story/rps I've read.

    Oh, and definitely this.
    This is freaking annoying. I've been in rps where because of characters like this, the whole rp goes downhill. I've rage quit rps because of this.
    I guess I do? I never gave it a thought, really ^_^'. But I can say that unless someone is actively going to be in a story, I don't really care much about their character type much. I may even use a trope or two.
    Lol, this poll is bringing up questions I never even thought of. Hm... when I really think about it however, they're all types I can relate to in some ways. Especially the caregiver.

    And for the next poll, I choose Romance or Longevity :3
     
  5. I am so glad I'm not the only one who gets ticked off by characters like this.
     
  6. Q. What options did you vote for on the poll?

    Warrior, Destroyer, Magician, Sage and Fool/Jester.

    Q. With the archetypes that you use from this poll, do you use subvert them at all, or play them straight?

    I don't try to follow archetypes period, I just picked the one's the most accurately describes the characters I found myself enjoying the most.
    So I guess you could say I subvert them.

    Q. Did you learn anything about your characters from reading this list? Do you think you understand them better or worse knowing about these archetypes?

    Not really. Two of my character's are such Jesters they've been known to break the fourth wall at times (one makes it a consistent hobby). So I kind of already had a good idea of what my characters were beforehand.

    Q. Are there any particular archetypes you dislike? (Note: You can list archetypes not found on this poll to answer this question!)

    Not really, along as the player puts effort to play them well and isn't just making a Mary Sue, Self Insert or E-Romance only character.

    Q. (GM's): Do you use two dimensional stereotypes as NPC's to save time, or do you shy away from it and try to flesh out every NPC?

    For NPC's, I'll follow all the quirks and stereotypes. They're there for me to improvise with on a moments notice usually, I don't often got the luxury of planning enough (or the right ones) ahead of time.

    Q. (Players): What about these archetypes compels you to like them? How do you connect with them?

    I like causing chaos. I can't really handle being overly serious for a prolonged period of time in something that's meant to be for fun, so having characters that are rather relaxed helps ease tension.
     
  7. Q. What options did you vote for on the poll?

    Warrior. Seeker. Destroyer. Magician. Fool.

    Q. With the archetypes that you use from this poll, do you use subvert them at all, or play them straight?

    Whatever I feel like. Some need more subversion than others, I feel, like the Warrior and Destroyer. Meanwhile, a well executed Magician can be played straight with greater ease in thanks to being a driving force behind change.

    Q. Did you learn anything about your characters from reading this list? Do you think you understand them better or worse knowing about these archetypes?

    Oh if only.

    Q. Are there any particular archetypes you dislike? (Note: You can list archetypes not found on this poll to answer this question!)

    Not in particular. There are good and bad examples of each archetype. Execution is a more prominent factor.

    Q. (GM's): Do you use two dimensional stereotypes as NPC's to save time, or do you shy away from it and try to flesh out every NPC?

    Option A, a lot. Depending on their importance. I use them a little bit too much as tools, admittedly.

    Q. (Players): What about these archetypes compels you to like them? How do you connect with them?

    Warrior. Perseverance. I doubt I need to explain this any further to you, Brovo, but for completion's sake. I enjoy characters that take control for their selves and have the inner strength to confront what they see as problems. Even if it's with a giant axe, the Warrior is a problem solver. The emphasis on ability defining who you are is also something I can identify with by virtue of my genitalia, so a struggle with either arrogance or lack of ability is also relatable to me.

    Seeker. I'm a vagrant at heart, what can I say. Besides globe-trotting adventures, I'm rather individualistic in my thinking, often causing me to go against groups even that I am part of. At the same time my ability to detach scares even myself and I often feel near-sighted when it comes to goals because they become more blurry the closer I get to them. I hardly ever identify with the resolving of a seeker's character arc, because when all is said and done I don't think I can settle down for an easy or simple life until the next one. If I believed in destiny, I'd say some people were just meant to wander.

    Destroyer. All my negative emotions eventually transform into anger. This has been with me since my childhood and something I've needed to keep in check for the safety of myself and my environment both. I don't think a lot of people identify with the destroyer beyond wanting to smash in the skull of whatever pisses them off (and secretly living through the destroyer actually doing that) because apparently anger is per definition evil and therefore people struggling with anger are evil, but I myself think this is a very distinct human quality. It's one of the reasons I cling to ratio more than pathos. This is also why you often see me defending people I do not like or even agree with, because perception>judgement is a must when emotion (or distinct lack thereof) takes the upper hand. Naturally, the way a Destroyer's character arcs are desolved are rather hit or miss because of this.

    Magician. Ah, the wonders and burdens of understanding. The magician can be played as a traditional wizard or scientist, but far more often charisma serves their purpose better than a wand. It's not hard to see where this comes from, given my background in psychology, marketing, sales, leadership, list goes on, etc. Kind of like the destroyer, it requires a clear line of reason and responsibility to keep in check. I've kind of explored a few bad sides of this as a teenager and my knowledge has only grown since. So take a guess. At the same time, like the Warrior, the Magician has the power and desire to bring about change and solve problems.

    Fool. I guess this is kind of my transformation, in the end.
     
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  8. I think this is a player issue more than an archetype issue. A player has control over more than their character does, as such they can implement factors that would incentivise their characters to interact despite the character their selves not really wanting to.

    Or, you know, not have them be elite superninjas from the get-go. AMIRITE?
     
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  9. 8 of them: Orphan, Warrior, Seeker, Lover, Ruler, Magician, Sage, Fool/Jester.
    Playing them straight can be fun, but I love subverting archetypes and do it more often than I play them straight.

    I also quite enjoy mixing elements of them together to create fun new dynamics to play. My favorite roleplay character to play (you'll know who I'm talking about here, Brovo) was a literal orphan who was damn near the opposite of the Orphan archetype and instead was a hybrid Fool/Seeker, and he was slowly working his way toward adding some Ruler to his personality. He was always seeking to better his life and wanted to be known as a great hero, but he was also a bit of a hedonist who let his passions get the better of him.. until he met a princess who made him want to better himself (rather than just his standing in the world) and become someone worthy not just of a fireside tale but worthy to lead a nation and leave a true and good mark on history at large. Oh, and he shot an angel in the throat with an arrow one time. #JustAdventurerThings
    Ehhh, I don't think I really learned anything about my characters, this just gave me a new framework to slot them into. I didn't realize anything unexpected about the characters I categorized with this list, just slapped labels on them and looked at how well they fit. As with every other archetype breakdown I've ever seen and used, this one confirmed that I have a penchant for smashing archetypes together with reckless abandon rather than sticking to one pure archetype.
    I dislike playing the Innocent and Caregiver types. Innocent types always reek of naive nonsense to me and the whole goal of "stay safe" doesn't interest me. Caregivers are okay when mixed with other aspects, but a pure version of the archetype is just terrible. Playing it straight always seems to lead to depending on other characters to get shit done, and that ain't me.
    I haven't done much GMing, but I always had a simple vision for this. Make them two dimensional (or screw it, one dimensional even) for unimportant NPCs, flesh them out if they're important when I create them or become important through player action.
    Orphan: I enjoy giving characters a major dark event in their history that they still wrestle with in the present, and orphan type characters are basically that in a nutshell. The pragmatism and penchant for cynicism also appeal to me because those are traits I share.

    Warrior: It's simple, it's fun, and it's very easy to mix with others or subvert. Be stronk, fight problems, win, gg.

    Seeker: Hard to say. On the surface it doesn't read as very compelling, but I sure as hell use the concept a lot for my characters. I think it might be because I like prodding my characters onto paths to develop and change as a person, and this is a very good way to do it. Works well as a secondary archetype that alters the shape of a primary one.

    Lover: I love playing hedonists. I very rarely play this without taking it to what the archetype breakdown calls the shadow side. :P

    Ruler: It's a nice change of pace from most of my characters. I tend toward the chaotic side of the spectrum, so going for an order-focused character is fun now and then.

    Magician: I'm a fantasy dork, how could I not be into this? More seriously, transformation and metamorphosis are fun concepts to play with, and this archetype suits them well.

    Sage: Truthseeker types are great fun to play, whether they're in it for good or are corrupted by their flaws.

    Fool/Jester: Did I mention I love playing hedonists? I also like deceptive types. This probably isn't my most commonly played archetype, but it's one that plays a part in my most beloved characters for sure.



    And I'll vote for Longevity for the next topic.
     
  10. It definitely can be handled well and work with a group dynamic, but more often than not, people playing those archetypes make it really hard to interact with their characters in a meaningful way, largely because the majority of times I see it is the standard animu-style brooding badass who is dark and tortured and doesn't seek out interaction with other characters.
     
  11. What options did you vote for on the poll?
    Seeker.

    With the archetypes that you use from this poll, do you use subvert them at all, or play them straight?
    I usually don't conciously consider archetypes when thinking up characters, so naturally there is some deviation.

    Did you learn anything about your characters from reading this list? Do you think you understand them better or worse knowing about these archetypes?

    Well, seems like pretty much all my characters line up with the seeker archetype in some shape or form. I think it will help me to understand them.

    Are there any particular archetypes you dislike?
    The Lover one, merely because I don't do romance in writing.

    What about these archetypes compels you to like them? How do you connect with them?
    Probably the fact that I could easily identify myself with that archetype to an extent. It almost feels like I am playing facettes of myself rather than a completly different character, which incidentally is also how I play most games with a roleplaying aspect to them, for instance by taking pacifist choices wherever possible.
     
  12. I couldn't decide which one I could fit so I chose them all.
     
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